RV News for May 5–11, 2018

RV News for May 5–11, 2018

breaking-newsReturn to RV Travel Issue 845.

The first bison-caused injury to a Yellowstone National Park visitor in 2018 is now in the record book. On May 1, a 72-year-old woman rounded a trail bend near Old Faithful and encountered a bison. It happened so fast, the woman didn’t have time to retreat before the bison butted her in the thigh, tossing her off the trail and causing only minor injuries.

Merritt RCMP

Last week it was Utah. This week it’s British Columbia. Both were sites for spectacular vehicle incidents that demolished travel trailers. On May 3, a 22-year-old driver was pulling a 35-foot travel trailer when he says a “burst of wind” caught the RV. He hit the brakes and the trailer responded by swerving, flipping, rolling over (multiple times) leaving little left of it. Mounties say the accident on the Coquihalla Highway closed the northbound lanes for several hours. The driver, with perhaps the exception of his pride, was uninjured. 

Anderson, Calif., is one of the latest takeover fields for Camping World. Succumbing without a fight is B&B RV Center, which is just down the street from an existing Camping World store. The “new” acquisition won’t run up a CW sign, but will continue operating under the B&B name.

National Park Service

The camping season may get off to a slow start at Montana’s Glacier National Park. The Park Service recently posted photos taken near the end of April as snow removal crews attempted to locate campgrounds and buildings. We say “attempted,” as the average snow drifts were anywhere from seven to ten feet. At Two Medicine Campground one drift was an incredible 20 feet, and snow was above the general store’s roofline. The photo from Many Glacier Campground shows it would be difficult to register for a campsite.

wildlandfire.az.gov

The California Highway Patrol is on a reminder campaign to encourage drivers not to be the source of a wildfire. In addition to the common sense advice of not flicking cigarette butts or ash out the window, RVers also come under the microscope. Dragging safety chains on the pavement can create sparks, easily leading to grass fires. The agency encourages a pre-trip safety chain inspection. If any chain shows links that are worn, it’s a sign the chain has been dragging. Keep your chains loose enough to allow for turns, but no more than that. 

Under the headline “RV industry is booming, but it isn’t without concerns,” an Indiana TV station is raising a red flag that should concern buyers of new RVs. Reporting on news from the RV industry’s recent “Power Breakfast,” it appears industry types are beginning to worry about having enough workers to build new RVs. Indiana is the heart of RV manufacturing in America, and the unemployment rate there is so low it’s become a struggle to get new hires. There was evidently some discussion about competing RV manufacturers luring away experienced workers. Which begs the question, who will fill the gaps in the engineering department or on the assembly lines? In a system where unfilled jobs mean decreased productivity, hiring less capable and less concerned workers will likely mean an increase in poor quality RVs – already a black eye for the industry.


NEW EDITION FOR 2018
“The” guide to services at Interstate exits

Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2018 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name), shopping malls, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas & more. Very helpful even if you have a GPS. Learn more or order.


An unidentified Canadian couple will probably never forget the time they flew to the U.S. to take possession of their brand-new Newell Motorcoach. Passing through Shelby, Mont., the rig came to a rather abrupt stop when the front end dropped into a sink hole. Two giant-size wreckers were required to lift the motorhome front end up, then blocking was put underneath to allow the coach to be safely backed onto solid ground. There was some damage, but the couple continued on after repairs were made.

R&T De Maris

A Quartzsite, Ariz., police officer was shot and wounded and the suspect shot dead after a wild night in the Arizona snowbird haven. Emergency dispatchers received a call about a house on fire, and on arrival police were told by the resident that the home had been torched, and allegedly by whom. Police later located the suspect near the area Burger King, when he opened fire on police, hitting Officer Keynan Weltha. Another officer dragged Weltha to safety. The shooter then left the immediate scene, retreating behind a block wall where he had apparently already set up an arsenal of weapons and ammunition. Police attempted to talk the man out, but failed, and instead shot and killed him. The wounded officer was treated at a hospital in Lake Havasu City, and was later released. In addition to allegedly lighting his landlord’s home on fire, the suspect had also set his own RV on fire. 

Idaho Fish & Game

Spoilers ruin it again – this time on Idaho’s Cocolalla Lake. Garbage dumping and overstaying campers at this quiet little camp spot have forced the state’s Fish & Game Department to turn the overnighting spot into a “day use only” facility. When will they ever learn? 

Show managers are undoubtedly looking for an eighth straight year of increased attendance at the California RV Show in Pomona, Calif., this year. The date for the LA Fairplex event has been set for October 5 through 14.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

A Largo, Fla., RV dealer may be facing up to 30 years in prison after being convicted of scheming to defraud customers in an RV-consignment-deal gone bad. Jeremy Raney sold RVs for at least seven consignment customers, some bilked out of as much as $150,000. Called to account, Raney told the court, “I don’t know where the money went, it sure didn’t go in my pocket.” But prosecutors painted a picture of a man whose tastes for bars, strip clubs and restaurants ate up the money that Raney claims must have gone to a dishonest employee. The four-time felon’s attorney says the case will be appealed. 

Two people in Colorado have been bitten by rattlesnakes as the venomous vipers have answered their spring wake-up calls. One got snagged in the ankle at Ute Valley Park, another bitten at the Garden of the Gods; neither died. Wildlife officials report no one has died of a rattler bite in the state since 2014, but do urge hikers to be cautious.


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news524(2)More News

A freakish accident has left a man dead near Fresno, Calif. The man, a Texas resident driving a Ford Mustang, attempted to pass a motorhome on Interstate 5. In attempting the pass, the Mustang driver drifted onto the left shoulder and was struck by the motorhome. The Mustang went into a spin and down into a ravine off the right shoulder. The motorhome driver also lost control and likewise crashed into the ravine, landing atop the Mustang. The car driver was dead at the scene; both the motorhome driver and a passenger were treated for minor injuries.

Last year campground reservations in Alberta provincial parks broke the record – 164,000 were made online. It looks like another record-breaking year: As of April 30, nearly 51,000 reservations had already been made, up 14 percent from the same time in 2017.

An ill wind that’s suspected of being a tornado hit Oklahoma’s Grady County on May 3. While some minor damage was reported, the county sheriff’s office says one resident reported a “missing” travel trailer after the dust settled. I don’t think we’re in Oklahoma anymore, Toto. 

Camping at and near Colorado’s Priest Lake (near Telluride) may see some changes. The Forest Service is asking for comments on a plan to turn a day-use area into 15 to 25 designated campsites at the Mary E recreation site. At the same time, dispersed camping at Priest Lake would be cut off and replaced with eight to 15 designated campsites. Camping at both locations would be free of charge. Send electronic comments to: comments-rocky-mountain-gmug-norwood@fs.fed.us by May 18, and include your name and mailing address.

The 625 mountain goats in Washington’s Olympic National Park had best start packing their bags. National Park officials say they’ll soon begin capturing some of the goats and shipping them across the state to the North Cascades National Park – and killing others. The reason for the drastic measure is “environmental,” as mountain goats are not native to the park, and the caprines pose a “public safety risk.” Back in 2010 a mountain goat gored a hiker to death.


It’s tornado season: Be prepared!
For about $20, you can rest assured that anytime severe weather threatens, you’ll be notified, even if cell service is down, the Internet is down or power fails. The RVtravel.com staff travels with this small, handheld, battery-powered NOAA weather radio. If severe weather is on the way, the radio sounds an alert, followed by detailed information about the storm to let you know to seek shelter or move away. Get one for yourself and one for someone you care about who travels a lot. Learn more or order.


Red Fleet State Park

Is it ignorance or malice? That’s the question coming out of Utah’s Red Fleet State Park, where rangers report a huge increase in damage to dinosaur tracks along the park’s lakeshore. Ancient raptor tracks, captured in sandstone, are being picked up and tossed in the water. New signs have been posted to educate visitors in an attempt to stop the destruction. 

Despite vocal opposition from local residents, the Lake Charles, La., city council has voted four-to-three in favor to approve the construction of a 240-site RV park. The park’s developer will be putting more than $6 million into construction and development costs.

A few more spaces for RVers to overnight in will soon be opening in Bay City, Wis. Out behind Big Dog Daddy’s Roadhouse, 42 campsites and 24 cabins are in the works. Immediate plans include getting the first 17 of those campsites up and running by June. But don’t line up 16 of your buddies to try out the new sites where owner John Grabrick says, “Campgrounds and bars go hand in hand. If people want to come out and have fun they don’t want to worry about DUIs.” That’s because only three of the first 17 sites will be available to overnighters – the other 14 will be granted to “seasonal” campers.

The government giveth, and the government taketh away – or so it seems in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest. Earlier this month the Service formally removed all fees from trail permits and for horse and mountain-bike trail users. Reductions were put in place for off-highway vehicle use permits. Now the Service is  charging a blanket fee for camping across the Forest. All campsites are now $15 per night, with the exception of those with electric hookups, which are now $20. We broke down the “fee changes,” and here they are: Five campgrounds (Stone Church Horse, Hune Bridge, Lane Farm, Ring Mill, and Lamping Homestead) which were free are now $15 per night. Burr Oak, formerly $10 per night, is now $15. The only “advantages” seen were at Iron Ridge where non-electric sites were already $15; non-electrical sites there now jump $2. And at Leith Run Campground, electric users will actually see a $1 reduction in nightly charges, and all others will remain the same. 

Xasartha on wikimedia.org

The Kalispel Tribe of Indians says it will open a new casino and RV park near Cusick, Wash. Although gambling will be part of the feature, the tribe says the focus of the new facility will be more family and tourism oriented. The Kalispel Park will feature a 33-hookup facility, and provide non-RVers with eight tiny homes to rent. Tribal council member Curt Holmes told local media, “People flock out here because it’s so beautiful. You could stay here and rent a kayak. Or, you could take a snowmobile tour.” Kayaks and snowmobiles are still future features, but camping in a beautiful setting will start probably in early August – in time for the tribe’s annual powwow. 

Police in Medford, Oregon got a bit of a surprise in the case of the here-again gone-again motorhome. On a Wednesday morning, May 2, at 6:10, police found a Class A motorhome towing a sedan, blocking a bus stop. Someone was inside, but hid behind the curtains and wouldn’t answer, so they put a tow-away notice on it and left. At 7:40 the bus stop was clear, but the motorhome was blocking a bike route. Still later, police called the motorhome owner, who said he thought his motorhome was parked at a storage yard. Another call was made to the car owner, the wife of one Aubrey Rain General. She said General had dropped her off at work the day before, but never picked her up as scheduled. She also said apparently General had their two-year-old son with him and that General was a meth-user but wouldn’t harm the boy. She changed her tune when police told her they figured that General had stolen the motorhome and was on the loose. Finally, nearing noon, the stolen rig was spotted again, and this time police gave in to a “slow speed chase,” wherein General mashed a patrol car and finally gave it up. The RV’s owner showed up, reporting “disarray” inside his rig and something else: that Honda motorcycle parked inside the rig wasn’t his. Sure enough, General allegedly purloined the bike when he swiped the RV. He faces a multitude of charges.


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